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The Jumbo Package │08.19.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes

Your day one starter?
Your day one starter?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Coker: Alabama QB is biggest wild card in NCAA football

The job is there for the taking and Coker by all accounts is the more talented of the two options and represents the greater upside. If Coker can’t live up to the billing and Sims wins the job, the season could resemble the 10-3 season of 2010


So our national title hopes rests with the arm of Coker (a guy who's never started a game in college) and if Sims wins the job (a guy who has never started a game in college) we'll lose three games?

Man, I'm so ready for this season to start so we can actually find out what these guys can do on the field, cause all the speculation is getting out of hand.

Read an excerpt from Lars Anderson's new book 'The Storm and the Tide' |

Jones soon organized a group of football players to take chain saws around town and cut trees. For three straight 12-hour days Jones and his teammates were fixtures in the hardest-hit areas, attacking the downed trees like a pack of Paul Bunyans. Jones cut and cut and cut some more, until he could barely lift his arms. "It was not the textbook, safest thing to do with the chain saws, but we really felt like we had to do something meaningful to help," Jones said a few days later. "Alabama football is just so big here. Next season we're not going to play for ourselves, I promise you; we're going to play for Tuscaloosa. That will be the biggest motivation we've ever had, to do something special on the field for this town." Saban's mandate had become a mantra.

Reading that excerpt really puts everything in perspective...

Kirk Herbstreit 'marveled' at Jacob Coker at FSU, curious how he responds with Alabama |

"He's 6-5, 230 and throws the ball as effortlessly as any quarterback you're going to see," Herbstreit said. "He has a huge arm. My questions are probably the same Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban have. This guy has not played competitively, when the game's been on the line for the past three years. You're going into the SEC and play quarterback at Alabama. "We know it's not just about having a big strong arm that impresses people up in the stands, it's about being able to make good decisions and avoiding bad decisions and checking down if the receiver is not there — being able to just do the little things."

Really you "marveled" at a back-up QB who only played half a season before having knee surgery?


West Virginia coordinator expects aggressive Alabama defense │Tuscaloosa News

Shannon Dawson, offensive coordinator at West Virginia University, isn't one to believe that running a hurry-up, no-huddle style offense is the key to solving the defense of the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

"From what I saw watching them play in the past, the teams that have really scored on them really made plays," Dawson said. "It's not like they were uncovered.

IMO, upsetting Alabama takes three things to happen simultaneously

1. Otherworldly quarterback play. Name me a team that has beaten Alabama since 2008 (outside of LSU), that did so without a quarterback playing out of his mind? Maybe Auburn in 2013? Maybe.

Cam, Garcia, Manziel, what's his name that I choose to forget from OU.....You just don't beat Alabama, at least not these days, with mediocre quarterback play.

2. Win the turnover battle/force Bama into uncharacteristic mistakes- Alabama under Nick Saban typically avoids falling prey to mental errors (the Process) but when they do, these mistakes can spell disaster.

3. Match Alabama's intensity- We've all seen Alabama sleep walk through victories and at the end feel lucky to get a W (Colorado State in 2013 immediately comes to mind) and we've also seen Alabama dominate an over-matched opponent from the opening kick-off. Some teams have the talent to match our intensity (A&M '13, LSU, Auburn etc). Others try but still can't get over the hump.

If those three things happen, an upset can happen. If they don't? A mauling is usually the outcome.

De-commitments are the unfortunate reality of recruiting and it's going to get worse |

This story isn't meant to bash Jones -- he's just a kid -- but he undoubtedly plays a role in a situation that is quickly getting out of hand. Honestly, all of us are to blame. The college coaches for offering scholarships to 14-year olds and pushing for commitments. The recruits for making decisions before they are ready, and ultimately not honoring them. The media for writing about recruits as young as 13-year olds and covering every little development like it is Watergate.

The value of a verbal commitment is basically zilch at this point. It's nothing more than a reservation. Kids don't think twice about visiting other schools or switching their commitment at the drop of a hat.

This is why i don't follow recruiting as closely as others. I'm not going to follow some high school kid on twitter and I'm certainly not going to put any credence on his "verbal" commitment.

Former star HS receiver had 'frustrating' injury in 2013, returns as Alabama's top veteran cornerback |

"Bradley's done a really good job in camp," Saban said last week. "He's a guy that's made steady improvement. Never really played a lot of defensive back in high school, didn't play corner. A very conscientious guy that has really developed nicely. The big issue with him last year was being able to stay healthy. He became a starter, played for two games, got injured and missed three or four."

Right now it looks as if Jones and Sylve will be the starters against WVU, and if Bradley can stay healthy he may have a big year. Now, we are still waiting to see when Jackson returns, and though he hasn't participated in the two scrimmages thus far, all signs point to him being well ahead of schedule.

Alabama's Eddie Jackson making major strides four months after surgery │Tuscaloosa News

Saban or Jackson Sr. won’t offer a timetable on Jackson’s return, but if the past four months is an indicator, it could be sooner than many think.

"He feels good from what I’m hearing," Eddie Sr. said. "He’s real confident about his recovery, and everything I’ve been hearing from him, he’s been hitting the field, he’s been doing everything he is supposed to do. Actually a lot of his teammates, really everybody was kind of surprised because he’s telling them he’ll be back in the fall.

"The doctors like what they are seeing with him, they just don’t want him to push it, they want to make sure he’s 100 percent before he gets out there and starts everything up."

The question is, when Jackson does return fully healthy (which week one could still be an option I guess) does he come back as a starter or does he have to earn his way back on the field? My hope is Cyrus and Sylve are playing so well that he has to sit the bench but are we confident that will be the case?